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Gov. Gary Herbert says Utah could lead U.S. economic recovery, if feds stay out of the way

OREM (Deseret News) — Utah is in a great position to lead the United States in a recovery from the current economic downturn — if the federal government will stay out of the way, Gov. Gary Herbert told a group of Utah County business leaders Friday.

"My concern is not Utah," Herbert said during the Entrepreneurial Business Conference at Utah Valley University. "My concern is the drag we are going to feel from Washington as we build programs that are not sustainable. I see some rebellion going on out here, and I say it's high time."

Herbert also used the occasion to sign a ceremonial copy of a bill passed during the recent legislative session that provided $45 million for a new science building at UVU.

"It was a difficult budget time, but we found a way to pay for that building," he said. "It's important we invest in education. No longer is a high school diploma adequate to go out and compete in the job market."

Herbert quoted a variety of surveys that show Utah in good economic condition compared with the rest of the nation.

"I don't want to diminish the fact that there are many people out of work, but in Utah, it's 7.2 percent — less than the national average of 9.7 percent. It's certainly less than Nevada at 15 percent," he said. "Maybe we need to think in terms of the positive. There is some hope. There are some good things happening out there."

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